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DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for Shiny Hair

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Have you ever admired someone’s hair and wondered how healthy they must be to get such beautiful shine to their hair? Shiny hair is a sign of health, even youth. Shine can be elusive and difficult to achieve. Natural plant based oils will add shine but for many of us, adding oils results in oily hair and more shampooing. I’m excited to tell you that there is a totally natural ingredient that is safe to use on your hair and will restore your shine and even smooth the texture of your hair! Today I’m going to teach you how you can get gorgeous hair by simply making an apple cider vinegar hair rinse. It’s a simple recipe that will restore the shine and vitality of your hair without leaving you smelling like vinegar-I promise!

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse for Shiny Hair

Since this week is “hair week” at Jenni Raincloud, I had to share a super easy recipe for an apple cider vinegar hair rinse for achieving extra shiny hair! You only need apple cider vinegar and water (with a few essential oils added in, of course!). I know what you’re thinking-Apple Cider Vinegar stinks! Yes, it does. BUT, don’t knock this until you try it-an ACV rinse does amazing things for hair-and I promise, you won’t smell like vinegar. Instead, you’ll have shiny, silky, healthy hair!

What is Raw Apple Cider Vinegar?

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar (raw) is a by-product of the fermentation of apples. Apples are full of potassium, vitamin B, vitamin C and calcium. Fermentation fortifies the end product with even more beneficial acids and enzymes. Raw apple cider vinegar leaves all of the nutrients in the vinegar, which is why it is the better option instead of pasteurized apple cider vinegar.

Because apple cider vinegar has an acidic pH of around 3, when properly diluted with water, it helps to balance the pH of your hair.

Apple cider vinegar also contains natural alpha-hydroxy acid, which helps exfoliates the scalp and hair. This aids in removing dead skin cells and build up from styling products, sweat, sebum and hard water.

Apple cider vinegar has anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antimicrobial properties. Apple cider vinegar is also anti-inflammatory which can calm scalp issues such as dandruff.

Benefits of a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for the Hair

  • ACV smooths Hair & Restores Shine: The acidity of the ACV helps seal the hair’s cuticle which smooths frizzy hair and protects it from damage.
  • Helps detangle the hair
  • Stimulates hair growth by restoring balance to the scalp and detoxing the hair folicles. Because ACV has the ability to balance the scalp’s pH and effectively clear any inflammation within the hair follicles, it can be used for optimal hair growth. 
  • Relieves dandruff because of the acidity of the ACV acts as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells that could be flaking and causing an itchy scalp as well as other scalp conditions.
  • Removes build up from hair products like dry shampoo and hairspray. Baking soda does a much more thorough job but it can be harsh and drying on the scalp and hair. ACV is a less aggressive and won’t strip hair of its natural oils.

pH and Apple Cider Vinegar:

Let’s talk a little more about pH levels-I’ve stated many times through out my posts that pH is vital for healthy skin. When pH is off in your skin, excessive dryness or oiliness can occur. The same is true with the hair. It is so important that we restore pH after shampooing.

Shampoo typically has a pH of 7+. This is because you need a higher, more alkaline pH in order to cleanse the skin and hair. The problem with regular shampoo and face/body washes is they can disturb the natural ph of the acid mantle which is 4-5

Why does Apple Cider Vinegar Give You Shiny Hair?

So when I see someone with really shiny hair the first thing I think is, “WOW, they must be really healthy”. Just look at little kid’s hair. They have the most gorgeous shiny hair. That’s the goal. 

Apple Cider Vinegar smooths the cuticle of the hair. When hair cuticles are uniform and smooth, light can reflect rather than absorb. When we shampoo, the cuticles open. If they stay open the hair will look dull and dry and the light will be absorbed rather than deflected.

Residue from products inevitably will build up on your hair. The more build up you have, the less shine.  ACV removes build up and shine is restored!

Spray Bottle with white top on a woven placemat.

What You’ll Need to Make DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse:

How to Use a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse:

  1. Shampoo and condition the hair as usual.
  2. Spray your acv rinse from scalp to ends.
  3. Massage into the hair and scalp.
  4. Allow to sit on the hair for 1-2 minutes.
  5. For best results, rinse your hair with cold water.

If the acv hair rinse burns your scalp then 1/4 cup (4 TBSP.) is too much. You can pour some of your spray out and add more water to dilute it. The next time you make the spray, I would only add 2 tbsp. instead of 4. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acids which are known to be caustic. This means it could irritate or burn the skin. This is why apple cider vinegar has to always be diluted with water.

I keep mine in the shower in a spray bottle. I use it once a week. On that day, the rinse replaces my conditioner. I’m not kidding. I have color damaged, dry hair, and thought I desperately would need conditioner to smooth my hair out, but honestly, ACV works better.

I recommend using a deeply nourishing hair mask after doing an apple cider vinegar rinse to restore moisture.

Can You Use a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse on Colored Hair?

You Can! ACV is appropriate for all skin and hair types. It is gentle and will not remove hair color. Plus, many times color-treated hair can end up looking dull. ACV helps restore vibrancy and shine which enhances the color.

Because ACV is slightly acidic which causes the hair follicle to close, ACV can extend the richness of your hair color.

Not only does ACV improve the appearance of your hair, it is also amazing in skincare. Since it helps restore pH, it makes a great addition to a homemade toner. You can also drink apple cider vinegar to reap many health benefits like balancing blood sugar.

Your hair will stink while it’s wet. I SWEAR, once it dries, you won’t smell apple cider vinegar! I add Rosemary to mine because it helps hair grow. I also add Lavender for the smell, and it’s moisturizing properties.

Try adding this apple cider vinegar hair rinse to your hair care routine-I know you’ll be happy you did! It’s so easy and much healthier and cheaper than clarifying shampoos and spray shines! Healthy hair is a $6 bottle of apple cider vinegar away!

More DIY Hair Recipes:

xx, Jenni


Apple cider hair rinse diy

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

29 thoughts on “DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for Shiny Hair”

  1. Hi Jenni
    Quick question. Could I use any kind of eo’s in the vinegar rise? I bought a wonderful combination eo from Edens Garden. It has pachouli orange and I can’t remember the other. And I probably spelled ravioli wrong! Hahaha.


    1. I think lavender and rosemary are used in this recipe because they’re good for the skin and hair, not just for scent. If you wanted to add an oil just for scent, I think your patchouli orange would be fine.

  2. Will this do anything to colored hair? Want to give this a try but need to be sure it won’t turn my hair colors ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Jane-this is tricky-I have colored hair, but have not colored in at least 6 mos. My hair was dyed and since it’s been 6 mos., it’s naturally faded. I see no issues with the vinegar rinse. My mother has platinum blonde hair and colors her roots monthly-she has seen no change in her color either. I searched online and found a few people saying they used it too soon after a dye job and saw the color going down the drain-My conclusion is that if you color your hair regularly with dye I would skip this if you are nervous about fading. Hope this helps!

  3. I have really oily hair (yet really dry skin on my face…weird) …I’ve tried acv on my before and it made it pretty oily still! Any suggestions?? I’ve just started using goats milk soap instead of shampoo and I love it!! But I need something to help me get a comb thru it!!!

    1. Cher-I have the exact same issue. I’m greasier this winter then ever yet my face is almost painfully dry! I’m sorry to say I haven’t found a solution-I spray ACV on my roots in the shower and have found some improvement but not much. Ylang Ylang helps balance the skin so I have thought about massaging my scalp with it daily, but haven’t tried that yet. I’ve never heard of goats milk for shampoo, interesting! I do have a detangler- You can also get an organic conditioner and pour just a bit into a spray bottle and fill the rest with water-this will work really well to get knots out. Hope this helps!

  4. This has changed my hair’s life! I have thick curly hair and I only wash it 2-3 times a week. I found a commercial conditioner that worked pretty well but I’ve always had a problem with my hair being frizzy after it dries. It takes a day or two to get my sexy curls back and then it’s time to wash again. The conditioner was expensive so I started using coconut oil instead. I’d still have the frizz problem. First time I used this ACV rinse, no frizz. It’s amazing! Now, when I wash my hair, I use baby shampoo then ACV. No conditioner, no coconut oil, and I don’t have to put anything in my hair afterwards anymore. I’ve never loved my hair so much! I can’t stop gushing about it and telling my friends about ACV! Seriously. Changed my life.

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  7. I have been using 1/2 acv & 1/2 water mix as my conditioner for months now. Recently, I used my sister’s commercial conditioner & noticed that it leaves my hair much shinier than acv. In fact, from my experience, acv only helps my hair from getting tangly after shampooing (Dr. Bronner’s), but not shiny. Any suggestion?


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  10. Hi Jenni,

    Is it ok to use ACV on the scalp – not just hair? I’ve been using ACV rinse on my scalp and hair for quite some time now not with a 50-50 ratio more like 70-30 (water to ACV) and I was wondering whether this is ok.

  11. Hi Jenni
    Thanks for all your posts, you have been really inspiring and your DIY skin care is really awesome! I cannot use chemical stuff anymore!
    I have lots of lavender and rosemary in my garden. Could I use infused vinegar with fresh herbs instead? Or is better to dry them?

  12. I have been using an ACV rinse for a while now but I also add a bit of glycerin to the bottle. It helps moisturize and smooth the hair. I also color my hair regularly and have no problems using this rinse every time I shampoo, about every 2 days. I add rosemary’ lavender and peppermint EO . No going back to regular conditioners and detanglers. My hair grows very quickly now and I am 73 years old. My mom used ACV on our hair as kids but just mixed with water. I hated the smell.

      1. Yes when it dries the smell disipates: however, if you sweat a lot, the smell will return.
        Just saying…..for me, I don’t dislike the scent, however, with essential oils it won’t be too bad.
        PS: the link for the deeply nourishing hair mask is not working… you have a DIY one?

    1. I read your comment about adding glycerin to your ACV hair treatment. Would you please let me know how much you added? I think it might add length of life to the spray bottle, too. I haven had good luck with sprayer longevity I guess, from the ACV deterioration? Thank you.

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